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Peer Advice: 5 Major Keys to Destress

Image of DJ Khaled with the subtitle "major key alert"

What’s up everybody!

During 2016-2017 DJ Khaled went viral across social media for giving people encouragement, motivation, and the keys to success. Well today I’m going to give you the 5 Major Keys to Destress. All graduate programs are meant to be challenging and rigorous and with that, you may feel stressed from time to time. While at times stress can be good because it can bring out the best in people, sometimes it can be overwhelming and seem endless. I’m here to reassure you that the stress you might feel will only be temporary and there are many ways that you can combat those stressful times.

Here are a few ways that I have seen personally work for me and other students around me to overcome the stress from graduate School:

  1. Getting Adequate Sleep
  2. Creating a routine
  3. Finding a new hobby
  4. Listening to music
  5. Being more active

Getting Adequate Sleep

Getting sufficient sleep is a necessity, but at times it may not be your priority when you’re thinking about finishing your assignments for the next day, the upcoming OSCE you have to prepare for, or the fact that you have finals week coming up. Every graduate student has been in the same situation where the thought of “Do I go to sleep or do I stay awake and continue studying?” comes to mind. Studies show that adults need anywhere from 6-8 hours of sleep a night and while getting 8 hours of sleep a night every night would be a dream come true, it doesn’t always happen. So the first tip to destress is to prioritize your sleep, getting an extra hour or two of studying isn’t worth the repercussions of low energy, poor focus, and increased stress.

Creating a Routine

A lot of students fall into the habit of simply studying at inopportune times throughout the day. This can cause unwanted stress because you may get the feeling of “I should be studying”. The best way to combat this feeling is to set a weekly schedule and allot time for everything you do throughout the week. Once you get into the habit of studying at a specific time and following a schedule, you won’t feel guilty about being somewhere when you should be studying, and that can lead to lower stress.

Finding a new Hobby

Hobbies are great ways to unwind and relax. It is important to have a few hobbies that you can turn to in order to take your mind off of school. There’s a saying from James Howell’s English Proverbs that “All work and no play makes jack a dull boy”. Basically that in order to live a healthy and balanced life, we students need to do other things besides studying 24/7.

Listening to Music

Listening to music often helps me destress and helps me power through boring and tedious tasks. When I need to get pumped up before a good workout or even while I’m relaxing, playing my favorite song always gets me in a good mood and relieves any stress. Some people even play music while they’re studying to help them relax. Whether you’re playing music to help you study or playing music to get your mind off of studying, music is a great remedy to destress.

Be More Active

When I say “Be More Active” I mean you should get up and do a physical activity. This could be going for a walk (MBKU hosts Wellness Walks to nearby locations where students can take a break from studying and walk with fellow students), you can go to the gym, go hangout with friends, do something outdoors that involves raising your blood pressure. Usually getting out of your element or study zone and moving around can help take your mind off of stressful things.